“U.S. Stocks Slip on Trade Concerns, Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap.”
The rally in U.S. stocks faltered as China and America escalated their trade dispute with fresh tariffs. The dollar erased losses and Treasuries turned higher.
The S&P 500 Index edged lower after a four-day advance as Washington and Beijing set dates for new levies on billions in goods. Trading was 21 percent below average. Canadian stocks were little changed and the loonie weakened after Saudi Arabia was said to begin selling off Canadian assets as part of a diplomatic dispute. Tesla shares erased early losses as the intrigue around plans to go private remained. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index drifted lower.
Traders remain on edge as global trade tensions welled up again, with the U.S. saying it will begin imposing 25 percent duties on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports in two weeks, and the Asian country saying it’s set to retaliate. Exports from the second-biggest economy grew faster than expected in July and imports surged, signaling the spat has yet to take the toll on shipments that it has on equities.
While the dollar and yen strengthened, the pound hit its lowest against the euro since September as traders sought protection against a no-deal Brexit. Treasury yields held steady before the biggest-ever 10-year note auction. Italian bonds outperformed as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reassured markets. The ruble fell the most since May and Russian stocks and bonds tumbled after local media published the full text of a U.S. bill seeking “crushing sanctions” for election meddling.
Elsewhere, Turkey’s lira erased most of Tuesday’s gains as investors said there’s no easy way to rescue its financial markets. Bitcoin tumbled, leading a sell-off in digital coins of all sizes, as a cryptocurrency market gauge dropped to its lowest level since November.
“China, Germany defend business with Iran in face of U.S. threats.”
China and Germany defended their business ties with Iran on Wednesday in the face of President Donald Trump’s warning that any companies trading with the Islamic Republic would be barred from the United States.
The comments from Beijing and Berlin signaled growing anger from partners of the United States, which reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, over its threat to penalize businesses from third countries that continue to operate there.
The German government said U.S. sanctions against Iran that have an extra-territorial effect violate international law, and Germany expects Washington to consider European interests when coming up with such sanctions.
Tuesday’s sanctions target Iran’s purchases of U.S. dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and the auto sector.
European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out. But that has proved difficult: European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they cannot risk their U.S. business.
Among those that have suspended plans to invest in Iran are France’s oil major Total (TOTF.PA), its big carmakers PSA (PEUP.PA) and Renault (RENA.PA), and their German rival Daimler (DAIGn.DE).
“US mid-term elections: Women break records for nominations.”
More women candidates than ever will contest US governorships and House seats in November’s mid-term elections.
After Tuesday’s primaries across four states, there are now 11 female nominees for governor and at least 182 for the House of Representatives.
The results were hailed as a continuing success story by activists for women in politics. There was also a key election for a House seat in Ohio, in which President Donald Trump claimed victory.
But US media said the race was still too close to call, in a safe Republican seat held by them since 1983. The outcome could indicate whether Democrats have a chance to overturn the Republican majority in the House in November.
At least 182 female major party nominees will run for the House, beating the record of 167 from 2016. Another three women are leading in close primary contests.
And one of the candidates for the House in the state is certain to become the first Muslim woman in Congress. Rashida Tlaib won a Democratic nomination and will not be opposed by the Republicans in November. She will also be the first Palestinian-American congresswoman.
“Crypto’s $600 Billion Crash Hits a New Low.”
The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for a VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin.
A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, more than the market value of all but the four biggest companies in the S&P 500 Index.
The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to support prices, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation.
Bitcoin dropped 6.1 percent to $6,457 as of 9:46 a.m. in New York, after earlier falling as much as 7 percent. It’s down 55 percent this year, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Ripple slumped as much as 12 percent, while Ether and Litecoin sank at least 5 percent. All but two of the 100 biggest virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com slumped over the past 24 hours.
The SEC now has until Sept. 30 to “approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove” a proposed rule change from Cboe Global Markets Inc. that would allow the listing of an ETF from VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc., the regulator said in a statement. An initial deadline was due to expire next week.
The regulator denied an exchange’s request to list a similar fund run by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss late last month. Some had argued that VanEck’s proposal was more likely to gain approval thanks in part to plans for a high minimum share price that would discourage retail investors. The SEC received more than 1,300 comments on the proposed rule change as of Aug. 6, it said.